© 2001

Shaikhdoms of Eastern Arabia

  • Authors
  • Ahmed Al-Shahi

Part of the St Antony’s Series book series (STANTS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Peter Lienhardt
    Pages 1-32
  3. Peter Lienhardt
    Pages 33-79
  4. Peter Lienhardt
    Pages 80-113
  5. Peter Lienhardt
    Pages 114-164
  6. Peter Lienhardt
    Pages 165-193
  7. Peter Lienhardt
    Pages 194-227
  8. Peter Lienhardt
    Pages 228-230
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 231-257

About this book


This pioneering study captures the traditional social, economic and political systems of the Arab sheikhdoms of the Gulf. It represents a unique and in-depth insight into the complex and varied cultural patterns of the Arabs, Persians and the people of the East African Coast in the 1950s, before the advent of oil wealth radically altered the style of life and expectations of the people living in these sheikdoms. In a compelling narrative Lienhardt discusses the tribal structure, relations between men and women, the economics of pearl fishing, the growth of towns and the complex relationship between the ruling sheikhs and their subjects. His findings offer a key to the understanding of the political system and the transition from the tribal to the class system. Specialists on the Gulf and Middle East, social historians and anthropologists will find a wealth of new evidence and analysis in this invaluable and accessible combination of history and anthropology.


anthropology bibliography Familie Middle East Tradition

Editors and affiliations

  • Ahmed Al-Shahi
    • 1
  1. 1.St Antony’s CollegeOxfordUK

About the editors

PETER LIENHARDT (1928-1986) was attached to St Antony's College Oxford, first as a Research Fellow, then Fellow and finally as College Lecturer. From 1962 until his death he was Faculty Lecturer in Middle Eastern Sociology at the Institute of Social Anthropology, Oxford.

AHMED AL-SHAHI has published widely on Sudan and the Middle East. After taking early retirement he pursues his research interests in northern Sudan and the Middle East as a Senior Associate Member of St Antony's College, Oxford, attached to the Middle East Centre.

Bibliographic information


'...a fascinating glimpse into a unique cultural adaptation that has been significantly transformed...' - Choice